I needed to replace the forks on my 1988 XR250 but was having a hard time sourcing the forks. So I started looking for other compatible options. It was difficult for me to figure out this information. So I will leave this here for the world.

For reference on the changes in fork years, according to a forum post

3 versions of 84+ XR250R forks:

- 84-85 have 38mm stanchion tubes
- All 86-04 have 41mm tubes
- 96-04 have early version of cartridge forks and have clicker adjusters.

For reference on compatbility of 86+ forks, according to a forum post

I put 03 xr 250 forks on a 87 xr 250. It all bolted up with no mods. Used the 87 wheel brakes,clamps,axle.